Music & Coding: let's take a survey

Luca Grandicelli on April 27, 2019

Saturday morning brings simple questions, but not simple answers. What kind of music do you listen to when coding? Personally, i choose a music wi... [Read Full]
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I live in a city and get only low-quality silence. On occasion I take a trip to enjoy high quality countryside silence.


It's the same for me, music with lyrics is distracting. I like to listen to soundtracks from my favorite movies.
So usually it's music by:
Max Richter
Clint Mansell
Hans Zimmer
Ramin Djawadi
Ludovico Einaudi


Not really, the black metal - dark ambient connection is pretty close.

Yes, precisely. I actually listen to two styles of music "Intense" or "Atmospheric". Most of this happens in the black/death/doom genres, but they are kind of orthogonal measures to the genre.


I love stuff like Ghoultown as well, if you want an other shift of genres. :D


Silence disturbing me :)

Those for coding:

  1. Deep Progressive Underground House Sets. Mostly Johnny M in the Mix
  2. Psy Trance
  3. Electro
  4. Synth wave, Electro wave, Retro Electro

Sure :) This is sooo long list :D I've mentioned only my last obsessions ;)


I used to listen to atmospheric/surreal rock and EDM music (i.e. Radiohead, Pretty Lights, Phantogram) but recently I’ve found I can’t concentrate with any music on. Maybe it’s like when you turn down the radio when you’re lost in your car? 😝


I think the more you go deeper in thoughts, the less your brain can handle music.


The deeper into a task I go, the more everything else fades out – even background music that might be playing at a not insignificant volume. The key is to find a soundscape that is sufficient to obliterate random noise without being so engaging that it becomes a distractant in its own right.


Mostly (technical | progressive) death/black/djenty metal, things like Periphery, Jinjer, Devin Townsend, Keith Merrow, or even Yngwie Malmsteen and DIO.

I think it helps me relax and liberate the stress of constant tension for thinking and coding during long periods of time :)

And I listen to that music wearing some nice in-ear monitors to get better noise isolation and more sound spectrum!


I work at home, so I get to use proper studio monitors for full sound spectrum. Losing that is one of the hardest things I have to do when going to an office!


Like you, Luca, I prefer music without vocals. I listen to Classical and Post-Rock when coding. Below is one of my favorite Post-Rock playlists:


I'm the kind of developer that turn coffee music into code.

I'd taked this habit from school when found I can have my maximum concentration listening music and playing air drums.

I use 3 playlist:

  • Classical Music (Classical, Opera)
  • Rock & Heavy Classics (Rock, Glam, Heavy, Power)
  • Evil Metal All Nite (Doom, Death, Black, Thrash)

I'm usually listen some Death Metal when need maximum concentration and speed. For me it's like use nitro.

I'm not updated those playlist frequently on my YouTube channel but used it as backup when can't access my Goggle Music account.


I listen to a lot of ambient scores from movies and video games but I also listen to a ton of deathcore (with and without lyrics).

However when it comes to writing documentation or any type of writing (blog posts, etc.) I don't listen to anything. It's much too distracting.


This week, I've listened to a lot of lo-fi house music to help me get in the zone. I do this for 2 hours straight and sometimes, I get too zoned out that I dont realize the playlist has ended and no longer hear music until I get distracted by our dogs barking.


John Cage's 4'33 (someone had to say it)

It very much depends on my mood, but usually lyrics get in the way so I go for instrumental.

When I'm in the mood for classical, I gravitate towards Bach.

When I'm in a more modern mood, I go for electronic/ambient. I used to know the names of the pieces and artists (Jean Michel Jarre comes to mind) but these days, I let Google Play or Deezer pick for me.

I also use focus@will, a music service that's supposed to help you concentrate. I find it generally helps, but then again, I used when I really want to concentrate, so it's self-fulfilling. I go for the "alpha chill" channel more often than not.


Any music will be a disturbance for our concentration. But in this is so called open office environment you need to cancel out the chatter noises around.
So, I listen to nature's sound( on a noise cancelling headphone. So far it's good.


I can do a lot without music. But when VSCode is opened, I have to have music on as well.
I listen to EDM, Linkin Park, Depeche Mode, Muse, Pink Floyd, Genesis, and so many others...
I found that I really like listening to full albums vs. playlists. Maybe the album concept, in its
continuity, helps me to stay “in the zone”.

My post would not be complete if I was not doing some shameless self promotion 😁 - check my own band: « Shiny Darkness ». We are close to release our 6th album. 🤘😀🤘


I love to switch it up every once in a while. I'm happy listening to hip hop or jazz, chill out and cinematic tunes from Hans Zimmer but also enjoy pop punk when I need to gear things up.

I don't mind lyrics as they don't distract me too much. It's more the general noise that helps me zone in and concentrate!


When I learn I sometimes prefer music to disturb me more on the less technical stuff and things that disturb me to concentrate myself more on them.
Uhm, I like Russian Youtubers, American and Israeli 90s.


A bunch of genres:

  • Epic (Two Steps From Hell, Audiomachine, etc.)
  • Celtic and New age
  • Electronic and dance music
  • Rock (including a playlist with only Queen songs 😁)
  • Classic pop
  • Ambient sounds ( for example)
  • Metal, mostly symphonic

... Well, in the end I spam quite a bit. But, most importantly, I use noise-cancelling headphones!


It's funny 'cause I used to listen to EDM while coding and doing stuff. Later on, I started to get distracted by critiquing the tracks and the productions so I moved to other genres. Nowadays I tend to listen to full mixes or sets of Psytrance, Hardstyle and I even used epic cinematic music on one occasion. It was a 2 and a half hour mix that did wonders :'D


Recently I'm enjoying this album a lot:

Also this one (same artist) gives me a great flow at work ⌨️


I've only ever worked in open offices (and I'll leave my opinions on whether they are good for productivity or not to myself), so being able to drown out the din is always essential.

When I'm not using podcasts to drown out the noise, I usually use Japanese Rock music. The sound-scapes that artists like L'Arc~en~Ciel, Gackt, Radwimps, and One OK Rock tend to create are full enough that they block out most of the sound of people shouting at reach other, or barking down the phone at each other.


Wow I figured this would be easy but it's not!

Turns out I listen to a variety of stuff, I've got some playlists which is music I know back to front so you'd assume it less distracting. But I also like doing admin while listening to spotify's "made for you" playlists like New Releases.

I'll happily get some movie OSTs on while coding, and I love Pink Floyd while looking for deep concentration.


Been listening to "noise" music while coding since the 90s - mostly electronic. In days gone by, that was stuff like industrial and aggrotech. These days, it's usually some sort of EDM - usually in the hardstyle, dubstep or trap genres.

I'm exceedingly prone to distraction by random noises. "Noise" music gives me a predictable sound-stream that obliterate the more-distracting random noises.


I either listen to some heavy music or classical.

A couple of days ago, I was listening to a live recording and I repeated after the singer half loudly "creeping death". A young trainee sitting next to my desk turned around and with a trembling voice asked: "sorry, what?". Someone else started to laugh loudly. Most probably she knew who came to kill the first born pharaoh son.


Death/Progressive Metal and video game soundtracks


Music most of the time.

Genre - Trance.

Songs with lyrics are problem for me only when it's a familiar song for me and I know the lyrics.


When I'm coding I need to have techno but without singing and not to much melody.
The live sets of Charlotte de Witte are dark, stripped techno and go up to 136bpm which make me type faster 😁


spotify playlists with no singing:

brain food
jazz vibes
lofi beats -> especially DEF CON Radio or Groove Salad Station


I don't get distracted, so I can listen to anything!
On the other hand, I prefer Electronic.


I prefer silence.
Butt, lets say there is some noise or distraction around i want to avoid, i go for DeepHouse music (mostly from AnjunaDeep).


I prefer either piano-only songs or movie soundtracks. My all-time favorites are Ennio Morricone and the soundtrack from LOTR.


LoFi beats has been my go-to music whenever I need focus


Personally,i choose to hear music with lyrics and lot of noise cause it keeps me focused (and hyped in the same time) unlike music without lyrics or silence


I feel like I can concentrate easier while listening to this:

  • LoFi (Kupla, idealism, j'san)
  • Jazz Hop
  • Electro Swing
  • Indie (SYML, MISSIO)

No lyrics deep house / techno & alike when I need focus. Full silence when I need focus-focus. :)


I am just all over the place, I could write an essay on all the different "sound moods" I get struck with on a weekly basis haha


Film soundtracks
Dance music
Symphonic Metal
Occasionally some random pop stuff (if I'm not working on anything too complex)

Absolutely no radio/podcasts or anything with talking.


Minimal techno and tech-house - beats for energy, melody for mood, no lyrics as they break my concentration.


Always listen to music, and it can be almost anything, as long as it's not something I inherently hate. Music is just white noise to me when I'm focused, and silence allows other thoughts to creep in.


I also can not focus on when someone is singing!

That's why I create a playlist with lo-fi music on Spotify!

you can find more information here:


I like classical music for deep concentration, and instrumental..

one of my favorite is CHON:


I also prefer music without singing. Chillout, Synthwave, Chillhop. These tunes keep me in the flow without distractions.


Currently I've been listing to a lot of EDM especially Monstercat


Chiptunes, classical, Scooter.. quite a mix.

If singing bothers, try a band singing in a language you don't speak.


For a while, I tried, which some coworkers of mine absolutely love, but for me, it's video game soundtracks that give me my best work.


Atmospheric music, Chill, Electro, I prefer without lyrics 'cause is distracting yes.


I avoid anything with lyrics.
Piano or guitar works well for me. Also some videogame soundtracks work great, especially ones that are designed to suck you in, like SimCity or Civilization.


No music. I used to try, but music takes over my thoughts. This is sad for me because writing and performing music is a big part of my life (less so these days).


Folky countryish singer-songwriter stuff like Ryan Adams, Adam Green, Ben Kweller, Blitzen Trapper mostly.

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